Canisius used a 10-3 run during the final minute of of regulation to force overtime before eventually defeating Saint Peter’s, 89-80, in double overtime in MAAC women’s basketball action Monday night at Run Baby Run Arena in Jersey City, N.J. 

Sophomore guard Cheyenne Stubbs paced the Golden Griffins (9-18, 6-12 MAAC) with a career-high 25 points. The Bradenton, Fla., native also played a career and game-high 49 minutes in the victory. Freshman forward and reigning MAAC Rookie of the Week, Sisi Eleko, added in 18 points of her own on a perfect 8-of-8 effort from the field while snagging a team-high eight rebounds. Sophomore guard Athina Lexa also added in 11 points and team-best five assists. As a team, Canisius shot 29-of-68 (.426) from the field for the contest and above 50 percent from the floor during the fourth quarter and both overtime periods.

Five different player recorded double-digit points for the Peacocks (0-27, 0-18 MAAC), with Rachel Kuhl leading the pack with 21 points. Tiara Bellamy (15), Jada Leonard (14), Jada Williams (13) and Kaylynn Asberry (10) also eclipsed double figures in the loss. For Williams, she also collected a game-high 10 rebounds to record the double-double. As a team, the Peacocks were 25-of-55 (.455) from the field during the game, but shot below 40 percent during the fourth quarter and second overtime period.

Trailing 61-54 during the final minute of regulation, the Griffs offense began their final push by using an 8-2 run, punctuated by a three-point by play Eleko, to make it a one-point game, 63-62, with 12 seconds left.

Canisius then fouled the Peacocks’ Imani Felix and sent her to the line, she would miss the first shot and make the second, allowing the Griffs to call a timeout down two, 64-62. On their ensuing possesion, the Griffs would inbound the ball and find New Jersey native Giana Hernandez-Boulden cutting to the basket, where she would sink the layup with four second to play, tying the game, 64-all, and forcing overtime.

During the first overtime period, Canisius and Saint Peter’s would be caught in a 70-70 deadlock with less than 10 seconds left. After taking a timeout, Canisius would draw up a play to find Lexa driving to the basket, where she would sink the layup and break the deadlock, 72-70, with seven seconds left and force a Peacocks timeout.

Out of the timeout, Saint Peter’s would have their prayers answered as Bellamy found an open lane off the inbound and drove to the basket, tying the game 72-all. A last-chance shot by Canisius would miss and the two sides would head to double overtime for the first time in 73 prior meetings.

Canisius controlled the fifth frame from the tip-off, rattling off a 9-2 run to take an 81-74 lead with 2:35 to play. Canisius would limit Saint Peter’s to just one shot from the floor during the same time span while going 3-of-3 themselves.

Kuhl would bring the Peacocks to within four, 81-77, off a 3-pointer with 2:14 left, but the Griffs would seal the win at the free-throw line, going a perfect 6-of-6 to secure the win and negate the late 3-pointer from the Peacocks.

Earlier in the contest, Canisius would strike first, opening the game on a 5-2 run, connecting on a pair of jumpers from Stubbs and Eleko, to take an early lead with 7:16 to play. After the early strike, Saint Peter’s would control the remainder of the quarter, outscoring the Griffs, 14-8, and limiting Canisius to just 3-of-11 shooting the remainder of the frame to hold a 16-13 lead after 10 minutes of action.

After being held scoreless for the first 3:42 of the second quarter, Eleko snapped the Griffs cold streak with a layup, igniting a 9-2 run that would see the Griffs retake the lead, 22-20, with 3:10 left in the quarter. Five of the Griffs nine points during the stretch would come at the free-throw line, with Chloe Chard Peloquin and Brooklyn Thrash each going 2-of-2.

From there, Canisius would be kept scoreless for the remainder of the frame while the Peacocks used a jumper from Jazmine Carter and a trio of makes from the free-throw line to regain the lead, 25-22, entering halftime.

The Griffs would snap their scoreless drought 34 seconds into the second half with an Eleko Layup before a 3-pointer by senior guard Jane McCauley put the Blue and Gold back ahead, 27-25, with 8:59 to play.

Saint Peter’s would respond with traditional 3-point play from Asberry just 17 seconds later to retake the lead, 28-27, and ignite a 10-2 run that saw the Peacocks go up by six, 35-29, with 6:35 to play. The two sides would exchange baskets to close out the quarter, allowing Saint Peter’s to enter the fourth quarter ahead, 48-41.

Canisius and Saint Peter’s went back and forth for the majority of the fourth quarter, setting the stage for the Griffs furious comeback in the final minute of regulation. 

Game Notes:
• Tonight’s contest was the second consecutive overtime game between Canisius and Saint Peter’s. Prior to this season, the two sides had only played one overtime game. Canisius remains undefeated in overtime games against Saint Peter’s.
• For the first time since Jan. 19, 2004, against Fairfield, the Blue and Gold played in a double overtime contest. This was the first double overtime win for Canisius since Feb. 17, 1997, when it defeated Fairfield, 94-90, and first road double overtime win since Dec. 8, 1984, at Edinboro, 84-79.
• This was the first start for McCauley since Jan. 21 against Manhattan.
• Monday’s game marked the seventh time this season and sixth in MAAC play that Canisius has limited an opponent to less than 10 points in the second quarter as they held the Peacocks to nine points. The last instance came on Feb. 25 at Iona when the Griffs held the Gaels to just six points during the second stanza.
• Tonight’s contest was the longest game the Griffs have played since a triple overtime thriller between Canisius and Little Three rival St. Bonaventure on Nov. 13, 2018.
• Stubbs (49:02) is the first player to play over 45 minutes in a contest since Shannon Conely (48:13) and Sara Hinriksdóttir (50:10) did so in a triple overtime contest against St. Bonaventure on Nov. 13, 2018.
• Both of head coach Sahar Nusseibeh‘s overtime wins have come against Saint Peter’s.

Up Next:
The Blue and Gold return home Thursday to face conference newcomer Mount St. Mary’s. Tip-off from the Koessler Athletic Center is set for 7 p.m., with the game airing on ESPN3.